Very Good Students…

Google "rape" images and there are thousands of JOKES that just aren't funny - but our society sure thinks it is okay.

Google “rape” images and there are thousands of JOKES that just aren’t funny – but our society sure thinks it is okay.

I was going to write about something completely different this morning – until I saw this story: CNN Reports On The ‘Promising Future’ of the Steubenville Rapists, Who Are ‘Very Good Students’ – and I am angry.

I think the majority of people who watched this trial unfold are angry too, but yet, the media wants to downplay the fact that a 16 year old girl got drunk and was raped by her ‘friends’ and focus on the futures of these two “very good students” who raped her and then texted their friends, circulated photos of the unconscious girl  being assaulted to people in her school, and LAUGHED about it.

Yes, they may have been very good students, and they may have been very good athletes. Those boys had to potential to go on to college and possibly a very good future. However – they lost the title of good student and good athlete when they decided to rape a girl and laugh about it. They are now rapists. Thankfully, even though their sentence was appallingly short – they still have to register as sex offenders and that gets to follow them forever. From very good student to sex offender.

The media is worried about these boys – yet there is no mention of the life that was destroyed by them. The girl who has to live with the knowledge that she was raped, that pictures of her being raped were spread around her school and community, and last but not least that society doesn’t care about her or her life that was destroyed – just the lives of two promising young men who were very good students and promising athletes whose lives are now marred by the title “sex offender.”

Well you know what? I don’t feel bad for these boys. I am pleased that their lives are ruined. That was the choice they made. They are the ones who decided to rape someone and I don’t feel bad for them or their futures. We have an accountability problem in our country and this is a prime example of how we throw blame around instead of owning our mistakes. Of course these boys thought they would never get in trouble for their despicable acts. Football players – especially in small towns like this are exempt from responsibility; “They are just kids being kids” – really? These boys knew on some level that even if they got caught, they wouldn’t be punished – thankfully, they were wrong. Seeing them cry in court to try and sway attention away from what they did to their ruined lives and wanting people to feel sorry for THEM? It’s disgraceful. Don’t cry because you got caught and punished young men – cry because you are sorry excuses for human beings, cry because you ruined a life (not your own- but your victim), cry because your sentence wasn’t harsh enough; but don’t cry to try and make me feel sorry for you. Apparently though – CNN feels bad for you. CNN thinks that being labeled a sex offender for life isn’t fair to you promising good students.

We have politicians redefining rape, we have a history in our country of blaming the victim. She was drunk, she was dressed wrong, she was asking for it, she should have passed out at home… she she she she…. I’m tired of it. Every woman in America should be tired. Men should be tired of being treated as though they have no control over their actions when a woman wears a short dress or gets drunk. How about instead of teaching women what NOT TO DO to avoid being raped (we should just stop leaving our homes)… how about we start teaching young men not to rape in the first place? Why isn’t that the lesson learned here? Why doesn’t CNN tell young men to not rape instead of crying over the destroyed lives of two rapists? The thing is – these young men’s lives aren’t really ruined. I am willing to bet that they will still get jobs, still go to college, and still have every opportunity to remedy this little hiccup in their lives. “I was young and made a bad decision” will be their defense, and our rape culture society will understand their plight. CNN might even give them jobs once they finish their year in juvenile hall because it is so unfair that the judicial system ruined their promising lives.

Yes. I am angry and you should be too.

RELATED POST: Rape culture fueled by media

13 thoughts on “Very Good Students…

  1. I taught in high schools for 31 years. When I hear star football players lauded as “good students,” I take it with a grain of salt. I’ve had some who were, but I know of other teachers who were intimidated into giving good grades for lousy work. At 21 they’ll be free, and can re-build their lives from there.

    • Thank you for your comment. I don’t for one second believe that they really were “very good students” that is just how CNN portrayed these kids. I know how HS football works in small towns. You don’t have to be very good students – you just have to be a very good football player.

  2. Why is this culture particularly entrenched in sports, I wonder? Other entertainers are also known to commit sexual assaults, and keep their careers, but you don’t hear this outflowing of pity and excuses and “oh, what promising young men they were”. Or do you?

    • Thank you for your comment. I think the reason this is a bigger deal than say an NFL player doing the same thing, because of the age of the people involved. We tend to not pity the adult NFL star – however when its kids, as a society we don’t want to believe they are capable of such atrocity – so it gets more attention and we tend to focus not on their crime, but on their ruined futures.

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  4. I don’t support those boys, in fact, I hope this remains with them for the rest of their lives, but people need to stop accusing all small football towns of letting things like this go by without caring. In my town you aren’t allowed to play sports, band, choir, or do any major after school elective unless you are making passing grades in all your classes, and while the teachers help the boys pass (like everyone else that struggles to pass a class), they also let those who don’t try fail. I don’t support rape, I wish it didn’t exist. But I also don’t support false statements on either end of a debate

    • Nicole, thank you for your comment. I believe those are the rules for any HS sports or extra curricular activities, but to deny that football crazed towns prioritize sport over academics is living in denial. Of course not all cities are like this, not all HS teachers pass the jocks and fail the outcasts. However the trend is strong enough and supported by enough evidence to say that this is more common than not. Obviously there are always exceptions to the rule, stereotypes don’t apply to everyone and every situation needs to be evaluated on its own merit. In this particular case – football took priority over doing what is right. Coaches, cops, students and teachers all knew about this before it was reported and NONE of them did the right thing.

  5. For cases like this, I think the idea of the so-called cruel and unusual punishments should be re-instated. I think 50 lashes with a cat-o’-nine-tails would serve as a moderate punishment, and a very effective deterrent to those that might wish to rape in the future.

    • While I appreciate the fact that you would like to see harsher punishments for people like this – I think we could do it in a manner that isn’t cruel and unusual; rather we should make punishments that actually fit the crime. Since they are children, after their year in Juvie, maybe they should have to perform community service for rape and sexual abuse victims for the next 10 years? Wouldn’t that be more effective than beating them?

  6. I’m glad they have to carry that tag of sex offender/rapist around with them for the rest of their lives. They deserve every bit of it and more. Their only remorse came from getting caught … and that makes me sick. What makes me even sicker are the apologists for this behaviour and the adults who covered up for them. They also deserve time behind bars for perverting the course of justice.

    • Leanne, thank you for your comment. It is my understanding that they are in fact investigating the adults who knew and covered up these events. Hopefully, once the people who try to hide this type of behavior start getting prosecuted, maybe we will start to see some changes. One can only hope!

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